Tag Archive: family guy

Simpsons did it

We all know by now that taking a movie, TV show, or comic book and trying to turn it into a game rarely works. More often than not, it ends up being a huge mess that neither fans nor developers end up happy with. Occasionally, though, someone hits it out of the park and the risk pays off. One media property that’s still trying to hit gaming gold is Family Guy.

We’d rather sweep games like Back to the Multiverse under the rug than celebrate them, so Fox looked to change the series’ digital luck like they did with the Griffins’ Animation Domination cohorts, the Simpsons, and Tapped Out. Instead of EA Mobile, Fox tapped (no pun intended) TinyCo, the creator of TinyMonsters, to bring the mobile digital revolution to Quahog. Instead of breaking new ground, though, they simply decided to retread what’s already been done over in Springfield.

Right from the get-go, you can tell that Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is a carbon copy of The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Sure, some minor tweaks are present, like the story and characters obviously tailored to fit Family Guy, but starting with Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken destroying Quahog in their latest brawl the same way that Homer destroyed Springfield by letting the power plant have a meltdown, this is just another free-to-play city builder with some Sunday-night flair.

The gameplay consists of rebuilding Quahog in any way you deem fit. You’ll be laying down roads, rebuilding houses and businesses from the show, and sending your favorite characters off to do various tasks in an attempt to earn currency to build up Quahog bigger and better than it was before. If you don’t want to wait for an hour for Chris to finish picking his nose or six hours for Mort to do Peter’s taxes, you can use real-world cash to buy premium currency or “clams” to make everyone almost instantaneously finish what they’re doing. The app also features a social aspect (explained as being part of Stewie’s multiverse) where you can invite your Facebook friends to join—and, if they do, you can visit their unique Quahogs and earn extra money and XP.

The payoff of hoarding cash and visiting friends is hopefully forwarding the “story” of rebuilding Quahog and unlocking some original animation and dialogue. The humor here is definitely a bright spot if you love the show, and Quest for Stuff even introduces its own set of zany, one-off characters, but I would’ve loved some more voice acting besides the prerecorded one-liners that get repeated constantly.

A major difference between Quest for Stuff and that other Fox animated-sitcom-inspired city builder is that each character also has bonus costumes that give them a new set of actions. Performing specific activities or having particular buildings also gives you bonuses to unlock even more costumes. Peter dressing as a “lady of the night,” Quagmire stripping down to a Speedo, and Lois going commando (not that kind of commando—like a soldier) are just some of the different outfits available.

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff also tries harder not to turn into a game where you’re constantly waiting for quests to finish up. You rarely have to endure 12- and 24-hour tasks in order to finish quests that advance the game as you continue to unlock more of Quahog’s unique denizens and structures. This is a double-edged sword, though, since I also found that my Quahog got very cramped very quickly. I was constructing buildings faster than I was unlocking land—the exact opposite issue I often face in Tapped Out.

Despite the glaring lack of originality, The Quest for Stuff isn’t a bad game if you simply take it for what’s it worth: a free-to-play title that’s great for killing 5 to 10 minutes on your lunch break. But it won’t get you through a long plane flight. It won’t kill all that time wasted sitting at the DMV. It won’t get you through that boring meeting at work as you pretend to take notes on your iPad.

But dropping into your own digital Quahog for a couple of minutes a day will probably give you a much-needed chuckle as Bonnie twerks for way too long on a backyard stripper pole, Quagmire lets his pet gerbil loose, and Peter stuffs his face at the local burger joint. If you’re a fan of Family Guy (and considering you don’t have to spend any money on this), there are probably a lot worse things taking up space on your mobile device’s hard drive right now.

Developer: TinyCo • Publisher: TinyCo • ESRB: N/A • Release Date: 04.10.14
The lack of originality is evident from the opening animation, but in small doses, The Quest for Stuff can provide fans of Family Guy a welcome chuckle here and there, and that makes it worth the free download.
The Good Captures the essence of the show’s humor.
The Bad A lack of originality; only good in short intervals.
The Ugly Meg.
Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is available on Android and iOS devices. Primary version reviewed was for iOS using an iPad 2. Review code was provided by TinyCo for the benefit of this review.

Lucky there’s a family guy!

Note: Some language used may seem offensive, but it comes directly from the game and TV show and should be taken in context of such. 

When we first learned that we would be getting a full-fledged Family Guy game for consoles, all us fans of the hit animated sitcom jumped for joy. And when we learned it would revolve around the idea of Brian and Stewie bouncing around parallel dimensions once again like the classic Season 8 episode that introduced the Multiverse, we were ready to crack open a Pawtucket Patriot Ale and start playing.

Obviously, we’re still a couple months away from release though, so you can imagine how we’ve been chomping at the bit to see more of this game, especially after our brief view of the Amish level at E3 only whetted our appetites. So, when given the chance to hop on the Family Guy bus at San Diego ComicCon to see another new dimension, how could we refuse?

The level we saw, the third of the game’s ten dimensions the game will ship with, is a world where cripples are in charge. Every parking spot is handicapped, all sidewalks have ramps, and everyone rides the short bus (which also happens to spawn enemies from). And of course, Joe Swanson is something of a big deal here.  In fact, the menacing ‘Crippletron’ from the infamous “No Meals on Wheels” episode returns with Joe taking his prime spot once again as the head of this monstrosity comprised of hundreds of wheelchair bound enemies.

In terms of the game play, we saw Brian and Stewie effortlessly switch back and forth in mid-level to rain death and destruction upon those who traded in their crutches (one of them anyway) for AK-47s and others who had outfitted their wheelchairs with rockets to reach true ramming speed while carrying guns or clubs of their own.

Luckily, Brian and Stewie have plenty of tricks of their own up their not paralyzed sleeves. We saw everything from sniper rifles, assault rifles, automatic shotguns, flamethrowers, and laser blasters, all of which could be upgraded by earning cash from causing destruction in the environment and laying waste to your enemies. We also saw a variety of special items on the game’s item wheel, including golden eggs that hatch into fighting chickens and Stewie’s patented diaper grenade, to help Brian and Stewie move their way through these new and unusual worlds while also paying their own little tribute to some of the TV series’ best episodes.

One of the nicest things we saw with the demo though was how in just a short month the game’s look and feel seems to be a lot cleaner and crisper than the demo we saw at E3. And when you combine that look which falls directly in line with that of the show, some solid third-person shooter action, and some absolutely hysterical writing, as the game is being written by the folks at Fuzzy Door and everything is approved by Seth MacFarlane himself, its very easy to see how fans of Family Guy should start getting excited about this game. The only question now is what other dimensions besides the Amish and Handicapable worlds will Brian and Stewie travel to? We’ll just have to wait until September to find out.

After being revealed by retailers last week that a Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse game was scheduled for release sometime in the fourth quarter of 2012, Activision and 20th Century Fox have confirmed that they are working together to bring this game to Xbox 360s and PS3s everywhere sometime in the fall.

“Fans of Family Guy will love that we’ve taken some of the series’ most iconic and memorable moments and built them into an impressive and uncensored video game,” said David Oxford, Executive Vice President, Activision.  “Anyone who watches the show will appreciate how much we have adhered to its rich and twisted universe and characters.”

With the sub-title being Back to the Multiverse, the game is sure to revolve around the dimension hopping device that Stewie invented in the “Road to the Multiverse” episode (Season 8, Episode 1) of Family Guy. With it, Stewie and Brian travel to a Disney-spoofed world, a world where Christianity never existed and so neither did The Dark Ages, and finally a world ruled by dogs. What kind of game play this title could entail, if you can play as the entire Griffin family, and whether or not the game will revisit any of these worlds or come up with complete new ones is yet to be seen.

This also interestingly enough marks the second Family Guy video game in 2012 with the recently opened up Family Guy Online MMO from Roadhouse Interactive. All this comes after the lucrative 20th Century Fox franchise has mostly stayed away from gaming for much of its series run aside for a poorly received last-generation title circa 2006.

What do you folks think? Are you excited about a new console Family Guy game? What worlds should the game visit and what game play should it entail? How about Activision serving as publisher? Let us know your thoughts with comments below! 

Channeling my inner Jay Sherman, I look ahead to this weekend’s upcoming potential blockbusters. Winning the top spot at the box office always puts a target on your back, but I don’t know if the disease-oriented thriller Contagion, which took last week’s number one position with it’s over $22 million dollar opening weekend, has much to worry about from any of this week’s new contenders. Let’s take a look.

1) The Lion King 3D (Buena Vista)

In the jungles of Africa is a hierarchy of animals, forever ruled by lions who must maintain the Circle of Life. But the jealous brother, Scar, of the current king, Mufasa, puts plans in motion to usurp the throne by eliminating the king and his son, Simba.

Like all great Disney animated classics, the voice acting is superb, the songs are wonderful, and the animation is priceless. My only concern is pushing this into 3D now, but even so, I saw this as a kid and know enough people my age who have kids now that this is a perfect chance to give their little ones a similar experience to what we all had as children—to see this on the big screen in a movie theatre and spend some quality time with their family. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see The Lion King 3D do decently well this weekend and if you have kids who are new to the film, I recommend you take them.

2) Straw Dogs (Sony/Screen Gems)

An L.A. screenwriter relocates with his wife to her hometown in the deep south. As their relationship begins to become strained due to the move, both are put in danger by some of the twisted locals and are forced to defend themselves to the bitter end.

Putting aside the premise of your stereotypical southern hillbillies looking to do deranged things to pretty girls, I can’t even begin to take this movie seriously because it has James Marsden in it. Every time I see him, I just keep thinking of the guy who made Cyclops a wuss in the X-Men movies and was the surrogate father of Lois Lane’s bastard son in Superman Returns. I can never see any geek ever taking him seriously in anything he does as long as he’s still best known for those two stains in the world of geekdom and this movie doesn’t look to do him any favors either.

3) I Don’t Know How She Does It (Weinstein Company)

A comedy that centers around the hectic life of one woman who is a finance executive as well as the breadwinner in her family.

I’m still trying to figure out how Sarah Jessica Parker gets roles. The last time she was even remotely relevant was when Family Guy compared her face to a foot (very fitting I might add). This is why when most actors get older, they go into voice acting. Take a cue Sarah. On the other hand, I want more Christina Hendricks! She is amazingly beautiful. Honestly though, even with a star studded comedic cast, this movie has as much fun written on it as an appendectomy. If I wanted to listen to a middle-aged woman complain and make bad jokes about her job, deadbeat husband, and spoiled kids, I’d go back to Jersey and have dinner with my mother. I heard about this movie once a while ago, and thought the producers had come to their senses and buried it after I didn’t hear about it again. So much for that idea.

4) Drive (FilmDistrict)

A Hollywood stuntman is underpaid and underappreciated, so he begins moonlighting as a wheelman for various illegal jobs. When one deal goes wrong though, a hit is put out on his head and he’ll have to use his skills in ways he never thought about before.

I’m actually really intrigued about this movie. It has a great cast of actors who I always enjoy like Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman (who every geek out there worth a damn is a fan of) and it’s a bit of a twist on your standard heist movie which we haven’t seen enough of lately. Not to mention it has Christina Hendricks (see above review). The real question will be how pretty boy Ryan Gosling does in the lead role of an action-oriented movie like this. We know he can do drama, but can he do his own stunts like in the role he’s playing? If you’re going to see anything this weekend and don’t have kids, I think this is the one to go with and is my movie pick of the week.